Drunk driving charges are serious, no matter how old you are, but they can be particularly serious if you are under the age of 21. Texas minors charged with crimes related to alcohol and drunk driving face serious penalties, some of which may affect college careers and future opportunities.
If you are a college student and you are facing charges of underage DUI or other alcohol-related misconduct, there is no time to lose in protecting your interests. There is much at stake, but with a strong defense, you may be able to mitigate the consequences you are facing and shield yourself from the impact of a conviction.
Penalties for underage drinking
An underage college student could face a myriad of various penalties associated with alcohol-related crimes. What you are up against will depend on the nature of the case against you and other details of your individual situation. Any minor, that is any person under the age of 21, could face the following penalties for buying, attempting to buy, consuming or possessing alcohol:
- Fines up to $500
- Alcohol awareness class
- 30 to 180 days loss of driving privileges
- Eight to 40 hours of community service
These are steep penalties, but if this is your third offense and you are a minor over the age of 17, you could face very expensive fines, jail and license suspension. If law enforcement catches you behind the wheel of a vehicle with any discernible amount of alcohol in your system and you are under the age of 21, you are in violation of the Zero Tolerance law. The penalties for this are as follows:
- Fines up to $500
- Community service ranging from 20 to 60 hours
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Alcohol attendance class
Of course, the exact details of your consequences depend on whether it is your first or second offense. A third offense results in higher fines and other serious penalties.
Protecting your college career
Facing any type of criminal charge is a threat to your college career. You could lose scholarships, face removal from certain programs and could even find yourself suspended or expelled from school. Not only should you fight to avoid a conviction and mitigate the potential penalties associated with underage drinking, you should fight to protect your college career, and therefore, your future career interests as well.
It is possible to fight back against a drunk driving charge or other alcohol-related charge, and you have no time to lose in building a defense uniquely suited to your needs and objectives.